Japanese electronics maker Sony has reported an 18.4% rise in its first-quarter operating profit on Tuesday. This beats market expectations and the company has said that the increase has happened because of its performance in the image sensor business. In addition to this, Sony has also surpassed the 100 million milestone in terms of PlayStation 4 sales.
Sony had posted an operating profit of JPY 230.93 billion ($2.1 billion) for its April-June quarter, which had marked an increase from the JPY 195.01 billion during the same quarter previous year. We should also mention that this was above a consensus estimate of 173.61 billion yen that was given by eight analysts who were polled by Refinitiv. The profit forecast by the company for the year ending in March was 810 billion yen.
In its earnings report, Sony has also revealed that it had sold 3.2 million PlayStation 4 consoles during the second quarter. If we compare this to the total number of consoles that have been sold by Sony at the end of Q1 – 96.8 million – it is evident that the company has passed the 100 million console units sold milestone for the PlayStation 4.
It is also worth pointing out that after seeing two years of record profits, Sony is now faced with headwinds in the game business. The gaming business is expecting larger costs to develop a next-generation console and according to analysts, it will be made available in 2020. We should point out that this will be more than five years after PlayStation 4 was launched.
However, Sony has also seen higher profits at the image sensor business, which are primarily driven by the demand for large-size image sensors and multiple-lens camera systems for smartphones. These profits have helped the company overcome the weakness that it has faced in the gaming business.
The semiconductor business of the company, which also includes the image sensors, has posted a profit of JPY 49.5 billion, that is an increase from last year’s JPY 29.1 billion.
Sony’s gaming business, on the other hand, has posted a profit of JPY 73.8 billion. However, last year, the division had managed to earn a profit of JPY 83.5 billion.
In the last quarter, sales of Sony Pictures Entertainment have also seen a rise because of Men in Black: International and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Sony has also said that its video game business has gained from better sales in its PlayStation 4 gaming consoles.
The music unit of the company has also improved as compared to the last year because of the absence of equity losses for EMI Music Publishing that has been recorded in the previous year, higher sales and streaming revenue.